Thursday, June 3

Can you explain the difference between a serpentine and a circular step sequence, or are they the same? I think Lambiel has/ had some beautiful ones in his career, loved his SP straight sequence.

Circular is exactly that, generally done in a circle focusing around the middle of the rink (taking up near equal length and width). However, it can also be done in a circle in either of the "corners", although it is not common. A serpentine sequence starts at one end of the rink and follows a wide S-type shape to the other end of the rink. If you need more explanation, let me know. I think this is one of those visual things vs. trying to read it!

With the IJS system, the exact definitions of the shapes started to change. It used to be no problem to do just a simple straight-like or circular step. Now, with all of the content that the skaters have to pack into the element, the sraight-line sequence, for example, usually looks a little bit wavy, sometimes even seeming like the skater is doing slight S-shapes down the length of the rink-- that is perfectly acceptable.

Spiral sequences for the ladies also used to be required in either a circular or serpentine shape. I think (but I'm not sure on this one), that two years ago, the ISU gave up that concept and told the ladies just to perform a spiral sequence in any shape, as long as it had the required number of positions and each spiral was held long enough.

Ask me a question about figure skating!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, thx for clearing that up! You're right about visualizing, it did help a lot. So if I'm not mistaken, circular and straight sequences are used in men's SP, while serpentine is used in the LP, correct? I'm kinda new to the step sequences for men, since I only recently started following men's FS, after only following the ladies on and off for years.

Tony said...

The men can do any of the three different patterns for their step sequences in both programs. You are right, though, that most opt for the circular and straight-line patterns for both programs.